So, I am a little more than half way through with my blue sky shrug. I really do love this pattern. It is so simple to follow but it is taking more time than I would like to finish it. I thought I had less yarn than I do and I’m already wondering what to do with the leftover homespun. Of course, I’m not as thin as the model below, but I’m looking forward to wearing this. Here in Florida, alpaca is used sparingly. Today is cold and my cats are continually sitting on my work in progress.
This weekend has been especially lazy. I have zero motivation. I’m even having trouble getting enough energy to surf through pinterest. I did manage to finish my chocolate homespun yarn. I bought the batt at the Florida Fiber In back in September but haven’t really had time to sit and spin it until recently. I tried to create a thicker yarn this time and it worked. I used the navajo plying technique to create a three ply and I can’t wait to use it. I’m not sure for what yet, since I don’t have that much.
Finally, I started a bobbin of what will become my cotton candy yarn. I also bought this at the Florida Fiber In back in September. I’m going to pair it with a gorgeous hot pink. I’m thinking socks for this two ply yarn.
The 2011 Florida Fiber In was last weekend up in Orlando. I’ve been anxiously awaiting this all year and I wound up sick the night before and barely slept. The early morning part of the Fiber In was great. I sat and listened to the lesson on dyeing yarn. She demonstrated how to dye yarn using Kool-Aid and a microwave. It’s too bad my microwave has been broken for over a year now. I may be the only person in Florida without one. I did get a few ideas. I also learned a few other things about spinning. There were a lot of interesting people and many more vendors than last year. There was plenty of wool and alpaca. I just wish there were more fibers like cotton. I found a woman who had an old spinning wheel like I originally bought over two years ago. She only spins cotton and absolutely loves it. If anyone would like to donate cotton for me to spin I would appreciate it! By the end of the day, I was too tired to really enjoy much. I wound up leaving early a little cranky.
In the meantime, I had not unpacked my spinning wheel or even knitted anything in the week after. In fact, I’ve ripped two projects that weren’t coming out correctly and lost my size six harmony needles. I’m suffering from the fiber blues. At least today was spinning group day. I am still not feeling well and was tempted to skip it, but am glad I went. It is great being around others who think like I do. It is so rare, especially down here.
This weekend was the seventh annual Florida Fiber In which took place in Orlando this year. It began Friday night with knitting, spinning, crocheting and socializing. We arrived Saturday at around eleven am and sadly I got there just after the spindling demo had already begun. I had two main objectives for the weekend.
1- I was determined to learn how to use a spindle. A spindle is generally a long thin cylindrical object that looks similar to a top. It is used to create yarn from fibers such as wool, alpaca, linen or if you are really talented silk. A website that I like to visit is http://www.joyofhandspinning.com/HowToDropspin.shtml
2- Find someone who would let me use their spinning wheel.
Both missions were accomplished. I practiced with the drop spindle. I was warned that it takes a lot of practice before you can create anything resembling yarn. I did enjoy using the spinning wheel, although I couldn’t really control the twist. I hope to be able to practice more at some point in my life, with my own wheel of course. It is not as easy as it looks though.
All in all, it was great to go and hang out with people who like the same things. There were many people, women especially, knitting, crocheting, spinning and spindling. I got to see a lot of different devices, fibers and people. It’s always great to learn new things and to meet new friends.
I am very sad to say my summer break is almost over. While I’ve still been working full-time, it was very nice to have the break from the classes. As I’m taking another accounting class beginning Tuesday, my juggling begins again. I really enjoyed getting to hide in my books, knit a few pillows and a sweater that came out completely wrong and a first draft of a novel that I’m down on now. Okay, so some of this summer’s projects failed miserably. However this summer I:
1. Completed two pillow patterns and began a third.
2. Finished a first draft of a novel.
3. Made my first homemade linguine.
4. Finished the entire Sookie Stackhouse novel series (yes 10 books!)
5. Read and listened to numerous more books.
6. Made chinese dumplings from scratch.
7. Made potato parathas.
8. Went to a wedding and got to visit the central timezone for the first time without realizing I was showing up to said wedding an hour early!
I’m sure I did more than that, but those were the things that I came up with. Summer is and always has been my favorite season. Things will get busier soon but I will try very hard to keep up the blogging and keep the patterns coming. I’m looking forward to the Florida Fiber In coming up. This year it will be taking place September 17-19 in Orlando. http://nomadicfiber.yolasite.com/ I look forward to learning how to use my spindle.
Today my fiance and I drove three hours north to go visit the Florida Fiber-in up in Sarasota. It is a festival more drawn toward fiber and spinning but knitting/crocheting are included. It was located at the Hilton Garden Suites off of Tamiami Trail North. I peaked down the long hallway first, and watched the two women outside spinning. There was a standing wheel and an old antique Norwegian spinning wheel, both for sale for $400 each. I had a long conversation with one of the women. I had made the mistake of buying an old antique spinning wheel without any idea of what I was doing. For those of you who know what I am talking about, I am missing the lazy kate/bobbin, the footman (goes from the wheel to the treadle, the mother of all (part that holds up the lazy kate/bobbin) is loose, and there are assorted other minor problems. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about- I didn’t either until I started researching my purchase. I wish I had known what I was doing.
Back to the Florida Fiber In.
It was a great place, with lots of spinning wheels. I wish I had sat down and practiced- but my nerves were a bit rattled and I am ultra-shy! I bought some handspun from sunshine knit designs and may try to spin on my drop spindle. I wish there was more yarn and knitting. My lovely fiance wanted to leave so we were out the door entirely too soon.
I have decided that I have to have a spinning wheel. However, I have learned my lesson in that I’m not touching an antique (unless someone can fix mine!!!). Instead, I want an Ashford Travelor. Now is not the time to buy it, but I’m going to start setting aside money for it. I have a ton of projects in progress. I am almost finished with my wedding scarf and can’t wait to show it off!